Unlike their straight and bland counterpart, layered hairstyles have become essential in keeping hair modern and interesting, with the trend starting in 1994 with The Rachel and continuing through to the 2010s thanks to nearly every hair-loving personality. But unlike the choppy look of the 90s and the early 2000s, today’s layered hairstyles have perfected the art of blending and understatements, with the layers’ very nature being that of subtleness in hopes of capturing both volume and vivaciousness.
Of course, layered hairstyles have come a long way from their days as stepping stones to looking “with it”, and while teens to 60-somethings have embraced the conventionally unconventional aesthetic, nearly everyone wears their layered hairstyles differently, with each look matching the uniqueness of its wearer and adding freshness to nearly every look. Naturally, the only question remains is: how are you going to wear yours?
For those who like length and smooth, flawless locks, blended layers straddle the worlds of sleekness and volume, as they work to ensure your layered hairstyle isn’t just a step above “straight and down”. With the only visible layers worn at the front, attention is brought to length over their intricacy; keeping long hair just that while ensuring the hairstyle is far from bland or uninteresting.
Just because you’re boasting a short hairstyle doesn’t mean you’ve got to sacrifice fun, volume or an alternative to the standard bob. Depending on your length, you can embrace a “wash and worn” layered hairstyle, with visible layers sticking up in various ways to maintain a disheveled look that’s far from the flipped-up aesthetic of the early 2000s.
Even the year’s iconic pixie look is not without layers and dimension, as this short, layered hairstyle uses various lengths to keep hair from falling flatly. You can achieve hair ala Emma Watson and Carrie Mulligan by using a small amount of anti-frizz product and a quick blow dry to ensure your layered hairstyle isn’t reminiscent of “just woke up” gone horribly awry. But of course, keep it natural – the best aspect of these layered hairstyles is that the seem natural and easy to run your fingers through.
While you may think the worlds of blended and classic layers are synonymous, these layered hairstyles differ in the sense that “classic” layers are much more defined than their barely-there counterparts. A step up from the 1990s Rachel, classic layers are boasted by the likes of Mila Kunis or Denise Richards as their multi-dimensional hairstyles are prevalent regardless of if worn straight or wavy. Sure, you may be able to see the separation between lengths, but as long as they’re not cut bluntly, it only adds interest.
Cut with a stylist’s razor over the standard scissor, choppy layered hairstyles embody the worlds of “funky”, “fresh” and/or “ready to party”, as their carefree nature easily translates into short, medium or long hairstyles. Meant to be styled in low maintenance form, the bigger the volume the better, as each layer creates shape that’s only improved by wave, curl and flexible hold hairspray. Perfect for mornings running errands or afternoons at the beach, choppy layered hairstyles are not only eye-catching, but capitalize on low maintenance and fun.
Day to Day
Contrary to popular belief, while layered hairstyles are by far the most popular, there are some day-to-day routines that need to be embraced in order to ensure your hair reaches it full potential. While some layered hairstyles look best tousled and “washed and worn”, others require the help of straighteners and products – particularly if they’re to be worn down and straight. Before you make the cut, make sure you’re ready to spend a little extra time styling your layered hair, and if not, perhaps its best to take the route of low maintenance and follow your hair’s natural lead.
Regardless of ease or of style, there’s a certain level of maintenance involved in layered hair – especially if you want your hairstyle to maintain shape and movement as it grows out. You may not want to keep your pixie cut or choppy ‘do, but the last thing you want is to channel Susan of Seinfeld with a boring, blunt bob. The best bet is to seek out your stylist every six weeks or so – especially if you’re boasting a short layered hairstyle that might grow out to be relatively matronly.
Of course, if you’re rocking a long layered hairstyle, you’re a little more fortunate. You may suffer the fate of dead ends and less sheen, but grown-out layers won’t take you from 2010 to 1994 in only a matter of weeks.